How bread for the Eucharist is made in the war zone in the Gaza Strip

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18/02/2024
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In the Gaza Strip, not even the conflict has prevented Christians from receiving the sacraments. In the only Catholic parish in the area, daily Masses continue to be celebrated. When the basic materials for making the Eucharistic bread became scarce, the priority was searching for resources.

FR. GABRIEL ROMANELLI
Pastor, Holy Family Parish in Gaza

At the beginning of the war, for two and a half months, we had two Masses, at dawn and at dusk. But now we have to save the bread and wine because wine is also not available—but it wasn't even in peace times. Because for different cultural and legal reasons, it is prohibited. So, wine is brought twice a year: once by the Nuncio and once by the patriarch or the bishop. And we use it in small doses. Now, literally in little drops.

The conflict in Gaza has been going on for years. As a result, the decision was made to make the communion bread inside the parish of the Holy Family. Religious and lay parishioners gather the ingredients, prepare the dough and shape the bread that will later be consecrated and administered during Mass.

FR. GABRIEL ROMANELLI
Pastor, Holy Family Parish in Gaza

A month after we started making the bread, we had a First Communion, where eight children—four Catholics and four Orthodox—received the Eucharist. The Orthodox can receive the sacraments in the Catholic Church if they are properly prepared. And this was one case. The parents received Holy Communion as well.

It was on January 6, the day of the Baptism of the Lord, when this group of children received their First Communion—despite the violence raging around them.

CA
TR: KG

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